As some of you know, I waited almost a year for a guide dog. It's been a long road, but as of Aug. 23, she has been by my side. Guide Dogs for the Blind is an incredible organization that provides guide dogs to those who are blind or visually impaired. I highly recommend the organization.
Liberty is a well-trained, beautiful black Labrador who has come to live with my family. I’d like to thank Will Henry, who so graciously took time from his schedule, for coming to the city and training us – Liberty and me – as a new guide dog team. All is going well and she is a great guide dog and loving pet.
You will likely see her guiding me at meetings and training sessions this year. It is important to keep in mind that guide dogs need to be very focused.
Therefore, I'd like to ask that you refrain from distracting her while she's working, although you're more than welcome to say hello. Will recommends that you also avoid feeding her, as she is on a special diet. Liberty is being trained specifically using the positive reinforcement method to reward good behavior, so alternative treats are discouraged.
If you have any questions about Liberty or the innovative training that Guide Dogs for the Blind uses, feel free to ask me.
For more information on how to get your own guide dog, visit the Get a Guide Dog section of the website.
Vision Education Services Chapter Leader